Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman Criterion Collection Box Set

Posted by The Daily Zombies Thursday, March 6, 2014

One of the most iconic samurai in cinema history returns in grand fashion last November courtesy of Criterion Collection. We take a look at the luscious 27-discs Blu-ray/DVD box set and the awesome covers that grace the 25 Zatoichi discs produced between 1962 and 1973. 



Being the incorrigible cinephiles that we are here at The Daily Zombies, we have been big fans of Criterion Collection with their luscious and definitive collection of cinematic masterpieces along the years. We can still remember our delights when the Criterion release of Akira Kurosawa's all-time epic, The Seven Samurai, was announced back in 2010


Last November, another iconic samurai was added into the already exhilaratingly impressive catalogue of Criterion with the release of Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman Criterion Collection Blu-ray/DVD box set. Collecting the 25 Zatoichi films produced between 1962 and 1973 (incidentally the one film short here is the 1989 Zatoichi The Blind Swordsman, written and directed by Shintaro Katsu, the actor who played the protagonist role throughout the decade), the awesome box set has been touted as one of the most amazing box sets around thanks to its stunning package as well as the astonishing covers gracing the 25 discs. Featuring notable artists from Greg Ruth, Paul Pope, Scott Morse, Josh Cochran, Evan Bryce, Ricardo VenĂ¢ncio, Robert Goodin, Yuko Shimizu, Jorge Coelho, Vera Brosgol, Matt Kindt, Connor Willumsen, Patrick Leger, Jim Rugg, Jhomar Soriano, Angie Wang, Ming Doyle, Caitlin Kuhwald, Benjamin Marra, Bill Sienkiewicz, Andrew MacLean, Polly Guo, Barnaby Ward to Victor Kerlow, the design of the covers is reminiscent of Dark Horse Comics' release of Kazuo Koike's Long Wolf & Cub. 


While any longtime readers of The Daily Zombies are well aware that we do not engage in any advertising opportunities or receive any referral fees for our articles, we felt compelled to highlight the fact that the "Gold Box Deal of the Day" over at Amazon is slashing (for lack of a better word) the price of the box set (usually prices $229.45) to half ($105.99). Like all other Gold Box Deal, the deal is for today only, and we opine that it is truly an opportunity no self-respecting chambara fans should miss.


With no further ado, hit the jump to check out the box set as well as some of the very best pieces from the 25 covers.



























Here are the additional special features from the box set:

  • New digital restorations of all twenty-five films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays
  • The Blind Swordsman, a 1978 documentary about Zatoichi portrayer and filmmaker Shintaro Katsu, along with a new interview with its director, John Nathan
  • New interview with Asian-film critic Tony Rayns
  • Trailers for all twenty-five films
  • New English subtitle translations
  • PLUS: A book featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien; synopses of the films by critic, novelist, and musician Chris D.; “The Tale of Zatoichi,” the original short story by Kan Shimozawa; and twenty-five new illustrations inspired by the films, by twenty-five different artists

    Cover by Ron Wimberly. Additional illustrations by Greg Ruth, Paul Pope, Scott Morse, Samuel Hiti, Josh Cochran, Evan Bryce, Ricardo VenĂ¢ncio, Robert Goodin, Yuko Shimizu, Jorge Coelho, Vera Brosgol, Matt Kindt, Connor Willumsen, Patrick Leger, Jim Rugg, Jhomar Soriano, Angie Wang, Ming Doyle, Caitlin Kuhwald, Benjamin Marra, Bill Sienkiewicz, Andrew MacLean, Polly Guo, Barnaby Ward, Victor Kerlow.




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